Pork is one of the most widely eaten proteins in the whole world, it is available and consumed in many forms like freshly cooked, preserved and in cured forms, but whatever the form may be it is one of the meats that is forbidden in Islam. The meat of the pork is obtained from farm reared pig or hogs, the consumption of pork has been a part of human history for 70,000 years. The process of curing increases the shelf life of the meat and is the most popular form of pork because it adds a distinctive taste to the meat. Ham, salami, sausages and bacon are among the few examples of cured pork meat. Pork is classified under the category of red meat due to its myoglobin content which gives it a reddish or pinkish color. Although pork meat is high in thiamine and iron there are multiple health risks associated with pork consumption:
5 Health Risks associated with consumption of Pork
- The meat of the pork is very high in cholesterol and this cholesterol is of such type that is readily absorbed by the human body and easily stored, this storage of cholesterol can lead to high levels of cholesterol in blood, which results in obesity and may also block blood vessels leading to stroke.
- Consumption of uncooked pork may result in several types of parasitic infections as the larvae and eggs of many worms live in the meat of pork. The most prominent worms are tape worms whose larvae live inside the meat of pork and upon ingestion develops into the fully grown worm which grows up to 4-10 meters in length. The primary site of infection in humans is small intestine but it may travel to other parts of the body as well. Another disease which may result from consuming undercooked pork is Trichinosis, which results from a specie of roundworm called Trichinella spiralis.
- Consumption of processed meat increases the risk of cancer as the nitrates and nitrites compounds commonly used in the processing to preserve color and texture, prevent fats from going rancid and to stop bacterial growth react with amino acids in the meat to form nitrosamines which are all known carcinogens.
- The meat of pigs contain large amount of toxins as they are known consumers of feces and other excretory materials. The pigs are natural scavengers and the way they are reared in the farms allow them to consume the feces which causes toxin accumulation in their meat. They rearing conditions on the pig farms are abysmal and the pigs are only fed so that they may produce maximum amount of meat. Other than that they are given large amount of antibiotics to ward off the diseases, when humans consume this meat it causes antibiotic resistance.
- Swine flu is another risk factor when people consume pork meat, however the chances to getting swine flu by consumption is lower than working with the pigs. The people who are in close constant contact with the pigs are more susceptible to get swine influenza.
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